FLINT, Mich. – Anyone you talk to has been impacted by the coronavirus in one way or the other.  Some people, including the deaf community, are feeling the effect on a more personal level.

Imagine walking into a store and the only way of communicating is by sign language or reading lips.

For Taylor Stebbins, a deaf 16-year-old in Flint, that ability has been taken away because of this pandemic.

ace masks and protective shields are the new normal when shopping, but for people like Taylor who was born deaf, it’s become a world full of confusion.


Taylor says she has a hard time understanding people who are wearing a mask because she can’t read their lips, which is how she normally interacts.

She’s missing that whole part of her communication which has been very abrasive for her,” said Florlisa Stebbins; Taylor’s mom.

Florlisa says despite the obstacles her daughter has faced growing up hard of hearing, Taylor never let that stop her from getting involved in school sports and activities.

he’s also taken classes to help with her speech.

Because of the pandemic, Florlisa says classes are not an option right now.

“Her speech is being affected by this and so she’s losing some of that skill,” Florlisa stated.